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The Spencerville Church Story

The Spencerville Church Story

Spencerville Church Tabernacle, est. 1936
The Spencerville Church Tabernacle, est. 1941

Inspired by the dedication of Ray and Anita Doyle, lay members from the Hyattsville Church, several Adventists began distributing literature in the Burtonsville and Spencerville areas in the spring of 1940. While working along Colesville Pike (now New Hampshire Avenue) near the intersection with Spencerville Road (Brown’s Corner), the Arthur Hume family knocked on the door of Frank DeVilbiss, who had previous contact with Adventists and had determined to make a tangible contribution to their ministry. As a result of the visit, DeVilbiss offered a portion of his property for holding a tent meeting. This effort eventually resulted in the baptism of seventeen individuals – including Mrs. DeVilbiss. Early the next year, the DeVilbiss family donated a seven-acre wooded lot on the corner of Spencerville and Good Hope Roads for the erection of a church home for the new group.

After clearing the lot of its many trees, the believers constructed a tabernacle from lumber donated by the Chesapeake Conference from its campmeeting grounds in Catonsville. The humble structure, built in just two weeks, became a sanctuary for the new church for the next decade. The first service was held there on October 25, 1941.

Spencerville Church, circa 1950, at Good Hope Road and Spencerville Road
Spencerville Church’s second building, circa 1950, at Good Hope and Spencerville Roads

The group was formally organized into the Spencerville Seventh-day Adventist Church on December 27, 1941, with thirty-nine charter members. Very shortly thereafter members began dreaming about opening an elementary school. This dream was realized when the doors of what was to become later known as Spencerville Junior Academy opened in September of 1943 with six students. A two-room cinder block school building was erected in 1948 with a gymnasium being added in 1956 and additional rooms in 1965.

The old tabernacle, destroyed by fire in 1950, was replaced by the building now occupied by the Korean Adventist congregation at the corner of Good Hope and Spencerville Roads. The congregation worshiped there until February of 1980 when it moved to its current location on seven lovely acres on New Hampshire Avenue. In 1989 a generous gift from former members Frank and Dolly DeHaan fulfilled the dream for a pipe organ, and the congregation raised additional funds for acoustical improvements for the sanctuary. The organ was presented to the church and community in its inaugural concert with organist Simon Preston, formerly organist and Master of the Choristers of Westminster Abbey, on September 21 and 22, 1991.

In the ensuing years, Spencerville has continued to expand. Landscaping for the church, an extended parking lot, two new Sabbath School rooms, a renovated kitchen, and brand new state-of-the-art Pk-Grade 12 facility all stand as testaments to the hard work, commitment, and generosity of the Spencerville members. Truly we can say, God has blessed this church.

spencerville adventist academy
The new Spencerville Adventist Academy campus, completed in 2011. Located just East of the
intersection of Peach Orchard Road and Spencerville Road

To read the full history of Spencerville Church, visit Church History: 1936 to the Present.